The Replacements

Campaign season got a bit more interesting following the announcement of a special election to replace late Congressman Paul Gillmor, who died in September. After a month and a half of campaigning for Ohio’s 5th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, here are the seven candidates competing in tomorrow’s primary races.

The Republicans

Steve Buehrer

State Senator from Delta, Ohio. Has served in the General assembly since 1999.

Major Issues:

– Wants to create jobs in Ohio by cutting taxes and decreasing government spending. Has been awarded Watch Dog of the Treasury Award three times for his record as a fiscal conservative in the general assembly.

– Opposes abortion. Has a 100 percent anti-abortion voting record. Favors government funding for abstinence education and none for Planned Parenthood.

– Says U.S. should “continue working to pull out of the war in Iraq,” but believes military leaders, not Congress, should determine strategy.

Mark Hollenbaugh

A social studies teacher at North Baltimore High School who lives in Bowling Green. Believes that his experience with teaching government classes has shown him how government should run.

Major Issues:

– Ending the influence of special interest groups in Washington, D.C. Has refused to take any donations from interest groups during his grassroots campaign.

– Wants to cut government spending and taxes with a plan to create national endowments for health care, education and other social programs that would allow them to pay for themselves.

– Dealing with the Adjustable Rate Mortgage crisis that has caused thousands of Americans to lose their homes and go into debt.

Bob Latta

State Representative from Bowling Green. Has served in the Ohio General Assembly since 1997. Was Wood County Commissioner during the 1990s.

Major Issues:

– Favors reduced government spending and taxes to create jobs. Supports the abolishment of the Estate Tax. Awarded Watch Dog of the Treasury Award three times, but is criticized for supporting a temporary state sales tax increase in 2003.

– Opposes abortion. Has a 100 percent anti-abortion voting record in the general assembly.

– Believes it is up to military leadership to make decisions about the Iraq War. Thinks it’s not the job of Congress to be the “armchair quarterback.”

Fred Pieper

Works on electrical lines for an energy co-op in Paulding, Ohio. Holds a degree in religious studies from Anderson University and an MBA from the University of Toledo.

Major Issues:

– Opposes abortion.

– Believes in allowing the military to do its job in Iraq and that Congress should not dictate strategy.

– Wants to end American dependency on foreign oil by making it easier for companies to tap domestic oil reserves and build refineries in the U.S.

– Believes in a “more impenetrable” border and in punishing companies that hire illegal immigrants.

Mike Smitley

A business consultant for automotive manufacturers from Van Wert, Ohio. Considers himself a libertarian even though he is seeking the Republican nomination.

Major Issues:

– Believes free-market business solutions will help reduce government spending and taxes.

– Thinks immigration is a major concern for Americans and would oppose any bill granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.

– Plans to have a “Virtual District” Web site that would let citizens weigh in on the issues being debated in Congress. Said this would be a “vital” tool in his decision-making in Congress and would allow for a “truly representative government.”

The Democrats

George Mays

A small businessman from Norwalk, Ohio. Owns a karaoke/D.J. company. Holds a degree in psychology as well as a Masters of Divinity.

Major Issues:

– Thinks America should have a cohesive energy policy that favors renewable energy sources.

– Wants to cut government spending and taxes with a plan to create national endowments for health care, education and other social programs that would allow them to pay for themselves.

– Believes America needs to pull out of Iraq and that a plan to remove troops in six to eight months is achievable.

Robin Weirauch

Former Assistant Director of BGSU’s Center for Regional Development, as well as the former Program Coordinator for the Great Lakes Regional Office of the Humane Society. Ran as the Democratic nominee for the 5th District seat in 2004 and 2006.

Major Issues:

– Wants to bring jobs and industry to northwest Ohio. Believes her experience as CRD director will help accomplish this.

– Believes troops need to be taken out of Iraq in a “responsible way.”

– Thinks there should be a massive, long-term overhaul of health care in America.

Click here for an easy-to-read chart containing the information on all of the Republican and Democratic candidates running in this special election.